The Palestinian battle against the Balfour Declaration is about their total rejection of a Jewish state, Netanyahu explained.
A campaign to get the United Kingdom to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration is “very revealing about the true source” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish state’s prime minister said on Tuesday.
“The Balfour Declaration recognized this land as a home for the Jewish people, which obviously had consequences later on down the line,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the 2016 Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem. “But if the Palestinians, 100 years later, are challenging even the idea that the Jewish people have a home here, you know that they are not really gung-ho on…a nation-state for the Jewish people.”
“It’s not about territories, even though that’s an issue,” he continued. “It’s not about settlements, even though that’s an issue. But it’s not ‘the’ issue. It’s not even about a Palestinian state…it was offered again and again and again. It was never and is still not about a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the Jewish state and the fact that there’s a challenge to the Balfour Declaration 100 years later tells you that we haven’t come very far.”
In his UN General Assembly address in September, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas said, “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine. This is the least Great Britain can do.”
The 1917 Balfour Declaration, written by Lord Balfour to Baron Walter Rothschild, stated that the British government would “view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The document is considered by many to be a founding legal document for the State of Israel.